Competitors sought for Scrabble tournament

By Ryan Schlehuber "Scoop" • Last Updated 6:12 pm on Thursday, September 15, 2011

Courtesy photo Local residents Maureen Burns, left, and Les and Harriette Cook play the fun board game SCRABBLE, practicing for the upcoming tournament at Greenville Area Community Center Sept. 24. The tournament, which starts at 1 p.m. that day, is a fundraiser for the Montcalm Area Reading Council.

GREENVILLE — Local wordsmiths are asked to put their skills — and bribery — to the test in the Montcalm Area Reading Counci’s (MARC) second annual Scrabble tournament on Sept. 24.
Scrabble, which has been around since 1948, is a word game in which opponents try to score the most points, with each letter in a word given a certain number of points.
Individuals and teams of two and four players will compete in MARC’s Scrabble tournament.
“We have regular tournament rules but we’re all playing for fun,” MARC Director Elaine Crawford said.
One twist in tournament play is that the judge can be bribed into allowing a word or allowing a player to peek into an official Scrabble dictionary. A mere dollar might be enough to advance teams to the next level in the tournament.
“Sometimes you think you have a word but just want to be sure before it’s played,” MARC representative Keita Rieckhoff said about bribing the judge.
“There’s all sorts of ways to win,” Crawford said.
The tournament is a fundraiser for MARC, a nonprofit organization fully supported by donations to provide free literacy instruction. The tournament also includes a silent auction and food.
The tournament and silent auction will begin at 1 p.m. at the Greenville Area Community Center at 900 E. Kent Road. The silent auction will be closed at 4 p.m., when winners will be announced. The tournament lasts until 5 p.m.
Door prizes will be given away, as well.
Last year, MARC raised $3,545 at its inaugural Scrabble tournament. This year it hopes to raise between $4,000 and $5,000.
Players will be served smoky mozzarella pinwheels with chicken, topped cucumber rounds, veggie pizza, chocolate mousse shots, mini cheesecakes, strawberry-topped confections and mango mousse-filled pastry shells.
The registration deadline is 1:30 p.m. on the day of the tournament. Space is limited so early registration is encouraged.
Registration fees are $15 for individuals, $25 for doubles and $50 for each four-person team.
Prizes will be awarded to the first- and second-place winners for individual, pairs and four-person teams.
For more information, to register or to donate to the silent auction, call (616) 754-1391 ext. 4 or stop in at the MARC office inside the Flat River Community Library at 200 W. Judd St. in Greenville.

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